Cancellations cause headache for travelers at SMF
SACRAMENTO — Nationwide, thousands of flight cancellations on Sunday left travelers spending Christmas day stuck at the airport.
Several flyers said they spent four to eight hours at their gates and additional time working to retrieve their checked bags once their flights were canceled.
Announcements about the intercom instructed travelers on where to retrieve their checked luggage. A sea of unclaimed bags grew throughout the day, with paper signs indicating which cities the bags were intended for.
Daniel Williams was waiting in line for hours after an unsuccessful day of travel. He planned to visit his daughter for Christmas. Instead, he watched her open gifts on FaceTime. Now, there are roadblocks as he tries to find another flight out.
“We’re going to have to schedule it for a few weeks or a month out. Just because logistically we only had a couple of days, all of the tickets are gone,” Williams said.
Standing behind him in line was Jeremy Duez, whose family had been trying to make it out to Disneyland. But, rather than riding Splash Mountain, he stood in the lost baggage line for over two hours.
Several travelers, like the Valadez family, opted for another mode of transportation to get to their destination. However, when the Valadezes’ realized their original travel plan would not work out, they hit the road.
“Our second flight got canceled, so now we’ve got to drive 14 hours to Idaho,” Vinny Valadez said.
Meanwhile, others decided to call it quits and spend Christmas outside the airport’s walls.
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